Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis sixth and concluding volume in Jones's long-running Hasford-Pay family saga is, again, a marvelous read. Utilizing an array of memorable characters and the sure and graceful touch that has twice won him the Golden Spur Award for Best Western Historical Novel, Jones spins a tale of small-town America in the decades following the Civil War. The story has all the elements of classic tragedy, leavened with a bittersweet humor and wit that is quintessentially American. Roman Hasford returns to the small Arkansas town of his childhood and quickly establishes himself as a financial and political power in the surrounding county. The forces of progress Hasford represents are simultaneously acclaimed and feared on the fading frontier, however, and social and economic animosities within the town lead inevitably to violence. Hasford's tragically failed marriage is another source of pain and alienation to a man whose coming home sets off ``The Trouble'' to which the fate of Gourdsville and many of its citizens is inexorably tied. A master storyteller is at work here, offering a singular and knowledgeable vision of the nation's final frontier days. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library JournalIn a series of splendid historical novels Jones has dramatized the human dimension beneath such events as the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and the settlement of the Western frontier. His new novel explores the transformation of a western Arkansas town from rural hamlet at the end of the Civil War to bustling commercial center by the turn of the century. It also continues the story of Roman Hasford, the protagonist of the eponymous Roman , whose ambition, pride, and anger forever change his hometown, and fuel what the townsfolk call The Trouble, a deadly feud between Roman and those who oppose his vision of progress. Roman is one of Jones's most memorable characters: a man whose good intentions can bring forth evil deeds. For any fiction collection. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/89.-- Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
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